STAT Trade Times awards air freight industry excellence
Recognising and honouring the hard work of the global air cargo industry, The STAT Trade Times awarded excellence across categories to individuals and organizations amidst air cargo stakeholders from around the world in an evening of high voltage entertainment and pageantry. The award night is part of the three-day AIR CARGO AFRICA exhibition cum conference, organized by the STAT Media Group, taking place in Johannesburg from February 25 to 27. The highlight of the evening was the STAT Trade Times Lifetime Achievement Award given to Mr Desmond Vertannes, former global head of cargo, IATA, for his significant contribution to the air cargo industry spanning four decades. The award was announced by Mr R K Patra, group editor in chief, STAT Media, and Mr Patra was joined on stage with Mr Glyn Hughes, global head of cargo, IATA, to present the award to Mr Vertannes amidst a standing ovation. “A life time achievement award is given to someone because the person has made an impact in the industry that he or she represents and the person has a substantial number of years of experience. And in this case Des has both these,” said Mr Hughes. Accepting the award Mr Vertannes said: “I am speechless and emotional.” ”The award is recognition of excellence not about me; but it is about us,” he added making reference to the group of people with whom he worked at different organizations in his four-decade long career. In his keynote address, Mr Tlelima Makhetha, GM SAA Air Cargo said: “In the competitive world that we are in today, excellence in the field is the only way to sustain growth and complimented the organizers in holding such an event.” While Panalpina bagged the highly acclaimed award for International Freight Forwarder of the Year in Africa, DHL Global Forwarding was judged the winner in the same category. Swissport Cargo Services emerged the winner of the International Ground Handler of the Year and Worldwide Flight Services came a close second. CHAMP Cargo Systems won the International IT Systems Provider of the Year in Africa and Accenture was the runner-up in the same category. Chapman Freeborn bagged the award for International Air Charter Provider of the Year in Africa while Air Charter Services walked away with the highly acclaimed award. European Cargo Services bagged International General Sales Agent of the Year in Africa whereas Air Logistics Group secured the runner-up in the same category. O.R.Tambo International Airport emerge the winner for African Airport of the Year followed by Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. South African Airways Cargo won the award for African Cargo Airline of the Year while Kenya Airways Cargo bagged the highly acclaimed award. Astral Aviation emerged the winner as African All Cargo Carrier of the Year and South African Aiways Cargo bagged African Cargo Airline of the Year. Cargolux took the award for International All Cargo Carrier of the Year in Africa while DHL Aviation received the highly appreciated award in the same category. Saudi Airlines Cargo secured International Cargo Airline of the year in Africa with Etihad Cargo bagging the highly acclaimed award in the same category. Emirates SkyCargo claimed the award for Global Cargo Airline of the Year followed by Qatar Airways Cargo, which came a close second. The clear winner for the Global Air Cargo Brand of the Decade (2006-2015) was Emirates SkyCargo while Ethiopian Cargo won Air Cargo Brand of the Decade in Africa. The award winners were decided on the basis of the results of online participation by worldwide readers of STAT Times in indicating their choice of the best in various sectors of the industry. The results were compiled and audited by a reputed firm of Chartered Accountants. Congratulating the winners, Priyo Patra, the Director of Events and Marketing in STAT TIMES, said that such awards go a long way in fostering excellence in the industry, which in turn has a direct bearing on the economic growth of the country. The event could prove to be a shot in the arm for the City of Ekurhuleni, the official host for the event, which is developing the city into an aerotropolis around the O.R.Tambo International Airport.